La Liga: Sevilla moves top, Girona tops Espanyol in Barcelona
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid drew on Saturday, and now see a new league leader as a result.
Andre Silva scored the game’s lone goal as Sevilla beat Real Valladolid 1-0 to move back into the lead in the Spanish top flight. Silva headed home from close range on the half-hour mark for his eighth league goal of the season in 12 matches, including his first since late September. Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik preserved the win in added time with an acrobatic save to tip the ball over the bar as Enas Unal ripped a scissor kick on net.
Girona earned a big win thanks to a double from Cristhian Stuani inside the first six minutes, topping Espanyol on the road 3-1. His first came on a corner four minutes in, rising high near the penalty area and powering a header into the ground and inside the far post. Just two minutes later, he powered home another header on another corner as Girona went 2-0 up immediately. Borja Iglesias brought Espanyol back within one with 16 minutes to go, but Seydou Doumbia put the game away at the end of regulation.
Stuani’s brace moved him into the La Liga goalscoring lead, with 10 goals in 11 matches. That puts him one ahead of Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The win also moves Girona into the top half, into seventh on 20 points as they jump Eibar, Valencia, and Levante.
Athletic Bilbao couldn’t hold a lead and slumped to a 1-1 draw as Jaime Mata scored in the 77th minute to share the points and leave Athletic in the relegation zone. Peru Nolaskoain flicked in a set-piece header on 67 minutes, but Mata was there to equalize 10 minutes later and earn the point.
Villareal, meanwhile, pulled off the relegation zone by beating Real Betis 2-1 at home, as the three points pushed them to 16th, three points above Athletic. Gerard Moreno and Samuel Chukwueze scored for the home side despite less than 40% possession for Villareal.